Monday, 4 June 2018

Kenya Airways wants to run Nairobi Airport.

The financially troubled Kenya Airways looks all set to branch out into different areas of the whole aviation business as it gets ever closer to winning approval to run the country’s main airport in Nairobi!

The airline is looking to become more competitive with its rivals, perhaps by taking a page out of their book, its chairman said on Monday. Michael Joseph said he'd proposed forming a special side to the airline to work with state-run Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) to allow them to run Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for a minimum of 30 years.

The plan to run Jomo Kenyatta airport is vital for the national flag carrier’s survival as it has faced limited choices after last year’s financial restructuring, its boss said. “All our competitors are state-owned, state-controlled, state-subsidized and managed for the benefit of the airline. We are the odd one out,” he told media reporters.  

Mr Joseph said the cabinet had discussed the issue and was given the “go-ahead” for its proposal, however, the Transport Minister James Macharia has neither confirmed or denied those claims. The proposal would need to go before parliament for approval to change Kenya Airways operational model. 
Kenya Airways wants to pay concessions to the KAA and run other profitable services at the airport including catering, fuel distribution, cargo and ground services facilities and maintenance. The concession charges are still up for negotiation. If Kenya Airways did take over the running of the airport, it would have a much greater say on takeoff and landing slots.

Joseph believes taking control of Nairobi would allow the airline to expand its fleet to 55 and increase the number of international destinations it serves by up to twenty. He says the proposal would also allow Kenya Airways to carry at least 4 million more passengers a year.